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KZG – The BEST OEM you may have never heard of

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KZG just may be the BEST OEM that you have never heard of. Actually, one could argue that they rival Titleist, Taylor Made, Mizuno and Ping. KZG is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) you say?

Absolutely, and their Gemini drivers just may be the best big stick you can buy. Bar none. Their forged irons are top notch as well. Personally, I have never driven the ball better before putting my KZG Gemini driver into play. The extremely high quality of their offerings and the lack of print media visibility via an adverstising campaign was perplexing to me. KZG follows a different marketing strategy and it just may be quite intelligent on their part. I interviewed KZG’s President, Jennifer King, and she offered some valuable insight into this niche market top notch, OEM golf company. Read on for the interview…

I know about the Orlimar fairway woods and their early success. Was this the beginning of KZG?

Not really.  We started way back in 1994.  We had this phenomenal technology which was ceramicized zirconium…we used it as a face insert in the club heads…I must tell you, the COR must have been .980…the energy off the
face was so great.  But the cost was equally great…our cost per iron head was $44….so, it was not that commercially feasible.  Tom Crow, then President of COBRA, absolutely loved it … as did many of the other OEMs, but it was just too costly.

We then started doing other technologies which we did sell to other OEMs. We then came across the brazing technique which was the basis of our KZG Maraging Power Drivers, Fairway Woods and Irons.  It was pretty phenomenal. We tried to sell it to other OEMS and they loved it also.  We finally convinced Orlimar to give it a try…in fact, we paid for the testing at Gene Parente’s testing facility…they were blown away, and the rest is history.  We ended up selling to Orlimar 1.75 million clubs in 1998 and 1999!  We also owned 1/3 of Orlimar Japan.

How did you (Jennifer King)  get involved with a golf company? I would guess that you are an avid golfer, right?

I started KZG with my husband in 1994.  Shaggy dog story…my cousin told me about this great club.  6 months later he shows up at my law office still raving about the club.  We hit it and were amazed…I flew to Taiwan to meet the inventor and bought some clubs and tried to sell them, but alas, as set forth above, limited success due to the cost. No, I am not an avid golfer; in fact I am not very good at all.  My dad, my husband and my daughter are all avid golfers.  I am an entrepreneur and deal maker.  I have been instrumental in starting many companies as I was a lawyer for 22 years…including Guess? Jeans.  My role is to put all the pieces together…like a movie producer…who hires the actors, the director, gets the script, etc.  And that is what I do here.  I find the technologies, I hire the best experts in the field, and I even do a lot of the designing believe it or not.  I think it helps when someone is thinking "out of the box".

If so, what happened to Orlimar? How/when did KZG golf come about?

Sadly Orlimar failed.  Not surprisingly though.  The three running Orlimar really wanted to do a stock play and were less interested in operating a real golf company.  We were offered $5/share in July 1998, but they turned it down; $7/share in September 1998 and they turned that down too.  It was on over load, but he problem was that started not honoring their rebate program.  Then they lowered the price in Dec. 1998 for the holidays; I remember having a huge argument with them that they would never get the price back up again; they ignored me.  In 1999 they dropped the price 5 times…all to boost sales for a "pump and dump" stock play.  Well, if you recall, they went public…Adams came out at $16 and within hours was down to $4/share.  Orlimar tried to go out, but they could never get the price they wanted after that.Wall Street finally realized that the golf
business is small potatoes.  They never had any more offers and could not get it sold.

In 2000 they sold it to Howard Lester (owner of Williams Sonoma) I think he and his friends bought it for very little…they got control of the company I believe for less than $1/share (Howard invested $10 million and his friends
invested $13 million).  They moved the company down to San Diego and got real smart.  They stopped buying from me.  They started putting out their own product which did not catch the fancy of the public and they died a slow death.

Around 2002 the entire company was sold for less that $0.25 a share to Knight Golf…which has historically sold boxed clubs…very low price point.  And it too died a slow death.  3 years ago Golf Digest gave them their "Hot List" endorsement and it totally flopped.  Its now just dead.

As stated in #1, KZG started in 1994.  KZG changed its focus and devoted 100% of its efforts to Custom Fit and Custom Built clubs in 1998….it has grown steadily over the years.



4.  What is your business strategy to combat that you are not considered an OEM club by the uninformed masses? What I mean is, the small group of hard core golfers not only know their own personal equipment, but they are really knowledgeable about equipment that they choose not to use. I believe that this small core group of golfers knows KZG’s quality. I am speaking of the middle group, those that play often and might be looking to buy a good set of clubs, ala PING, Titleist, Taylor Made, etc….

We are pretty realistic here.  We will never be a Nike, Callaway or TaylorMade…never.  We don’t advertise.  I doubt we ever will.  Think about it, all the big boys are spending $100 million plus a year on media and the tour, given there are at least 10 of them, that means over $1 billion a year.  Even if I had $1 million to spend, no one would see it.

(Now I understand why spending a ton of cash on advertising is not really a smart business strategy for KZG.)

We have set out to produce products that are demonstrably better and they definitely are.  We have also chosen to work only with true Professional Fitters because when our product is fitted properly, it simply cannot be beat.  Our advertising is the old fashioned way…happy golfers telling their friends.

We are definitely an "OEM" – Original Equipment Manufacturer.  We use the top designers in the industry and work with the same manufacturing plants that the big boys use in China.  The big boys cannot afford to use our
manufacturers in Japan…

Sadly I watch as the major brands are saying that they are custom fitting, when in fact they are really offering optional shafts and guessing at what might be right for a player.  IPAC (international Professional Association of Clubfitters) has formed to try to educate the public on where to go for a real fitting, see www.ipacgolf.com.

Slowly we are growing and gaining ground with the middle handicappers and even the high handicappers.  When we started out, we only made equipment for the low handicappers, but if you check out our website, you can see that we offer clubs for every conceivable skill level as well as budget.

And of course, we are hoping that writers like you will educate the public about KZG and about proper fitting.

I have realized how getting PROPERLY fitted for a driver can really help one’s game. Since getting fitted for my Gemini driver, I am driving the ball better than at anytime in the last 15 years!


I like the fact that KZG golf clubs are only offered through qualified clubfitters and not in the big box stores. However, I am perplexed by the lack of national advertising. Does KZG not want to be the next Mizuno, etc..and is KZG  OK being just a high quality "niche" golf company?

Again, we just don’t have a $10-$100 million dollar advertising budget.  For now, we have to stick with editors and writers like yourself and the great publicity we get from our loyal KZG golfers…and they really are loyal and supportive.  We would love to be next to Mizuno and we are…in those facilities that have a real Professional Fitter on staff.

Do you have any restrictions on what your KZG clubfitters/sellers can sell in the same store? For example, can they sell all the bogus, low quality "knock offs" as well?

We are very particular about our Dealers.  We try not to sell to anyone that sells clones or knock-offs…or low quality "home shop" components. Most all of our Dealers take pride in their professionalism and would not tarnish their reputation with stolen designs and brands and junk.  



Do you think that having KZG clubs being sold alongside knock offs hurts your reputation? (I know it’s no different at Golf Galaxy, they sell the average Maltby stuff as well as the top of the line OEM products. All that stuff is fine for the guy who plays not all so often, or hits that stuff well and actually likes it).  

In my opinion, knock offs are stolen designs, stolen brands, stolen ideas.  I abhor knock-offs and we try to steer clear of anyone that sells them.

Do you feel that "KZG" is a brand name in the golf world as a whole? I know when I worked at the range one summer for one of my asst. pro buddies a few years ago I would watch all the high school golfers hitting their
drivers. I would hand them my Gemini, ask them NOT to look at the sole and have them hit it. I would say that most of these kids hit my club farther and more accurately than any of their OEM products. However, I never saw any of them rushing out to buy a KZG.

I know, its amazing. We have people in front of a launch monitor who can actually see that they are getting a tighter dispersion and greater distance, and still feel more comfortable with the well-advertised brand name.  But most of our Dealers do get the respect of their customers and usually sell them KZG.

Why not attack the amateur/junior/NCAA golf market instead of the professional tours and such? Maybe a program where college and high school golf coaches can make player purchases cheaper through KZG.

We are on every tour, in every category of equipment, save putters.  Phil Mickelson played my blades for 9 months (without pay of course…cute story, he paid full retail and tipped the fitter $200), Nick Price plays our ZO clubs; Padraig Harrington played our RBT Driver; the list goes on and on…Michelle Wie plays our stuff, the #1 girl in Australia plays our stuff, everyone who is anyone has played our equipment.  But let’s face it, when Nike comes along and offers you millions, you would be crazy not to take it. So no, I don’t chase the tours, they chase us and when they hit it big, we wish them well as they get the big endorsement.

I don’t think it would be fair to compare (I am not speaking about quality here, YOU GUYS ARE UP TO SNUFF on that!) KZG to Ping, Callaway, Titleist or Taylor Made, as they pump out huge numbers of stuff. I know that Mizuno does not spend as much (or pay as many) paying top pros to play their stuff as these other big companies do. Have you ever thought of paying annyone to play KZG? Would it be worth the advertising if you paid say one Nationwide Tour Pro or one LPGA/PGA Tour Pro? Obviously you have completed a cost analysis to see if it is worth the hassles associated with it. Have any pros independently approached KZG and said that they wanted to play your driver and/or irons (obviously not for free)? If so, you don’t have to say any names just whether or not it has occurred. (That would be a great validation of your products)?

Trust me, I have thought about this over and over.  In fact, I even discussed this very issue this morning as one of the shaft reps on Tour wants to use our heads on all of his shafts for testing…which is great. But would I pay someone…very doubtful.  You either need a very top name (which is millions) or you need a whole bunch of smaller guys (which also adds up when you consider they are paying these guys $3,500 per week just to hit a particular driver off the first tee).  How much would it be worth if #285 on the Nationwide Tour was playing KZG?  Who is it by the way?  See, it just doesn’t add up.  And then say that #285 actually won a major tournament….it still would cost you $250,000 to advertise that fact!



I get frustrated, as I am sure KZG does as well, when many of the major golf magazines ignore KZG products in all of their tests (I think the Gemini driver finally made the Golf Digest hot list last year, I think). Is this because KZG does not purchase advertising from them? (I know it was like that in the bicycle racing world where I used to write). These equipment tests are so biased and I really don’t let them make up my mind about golf equipment.

You are right.  We don’t advertise and they don’t write about us.  Its simple, but it is practical.  Always follow the money.  The reason that Golf Digest gave us the Hot List Award for the Gemini (1 1/2 years after it was launched) was because they were at a party of mine during the PGA Show, and I basically told them that everyone was laughing at them and cancelling their subscriptions for having given the Hot List award to the new Orlimar from Knight Golf…it really was a joke. I think the next season that is why they gave us the honor and named the Gemini as the best driver.

I would put a KZG Gemini up against ANY driver on the market, it is too bad the major golf publications are so biased towards the giant companies with the mass-marketing dollars. Until you see ALL the players, it will never be a true test.


Why not a small ad promoting the Golf Test USA test showing how the Gemini beat all of the "other guys"? Surely this would be cost effective in the long run.
 

We will be doing that, but we have been so busy, we put that on the back burner…but we will do something with that.

Where are the KZG Driver heads and irons made? China and or Japan? In the same factories as the OEM manufacturer’s stuff? 

China makes virtually every club head in the world.  Japan makes very few forgings…ours, and the tour versions of some of the major OEMs, and Miura…not even Mizuno can afford 100% Japanese made.

Do all KZG products have a "lifetime" warranty?

No.  We have a 2 year written warranty.  But frankly we do usually give a lifetime warranty. There was a recent incident however that makes that difficult, as there were counterfeit ones out there, which I took in even though they were not mine…and that proved disastrous.

Does KZG test any of their own products in house? If so, have you tested your competitor’s equipment as well? If so, what did you discover?

We do informal tests of our products against other products using our launch monitors here.  We also hire Golf Laboratories owned by Gene Parente…he is an independent testing facility. We found that our product is the best…and the 2nd best is Titleist.

In what areas of the country or world are KZG products "most popular"?

There are sections where are products are actively marketed by our Dealers.  We are very popular in Northern California, New Jersey, Virginia, some portions of Texas.  We are huge in Europe.

If you are seeking some new golf clubs, you really should locate your local KZG dealer and see what they have to offer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You just may skip the Mizunos the next time around. Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Cincinnati’s BEST clubfitter and local KZG dealer, Kirby Bolen…

THANK YOU Jennifer for taking time out of your very busy schedule to answer my questions for the many members of golfwrx.com, the internet’s BEST golf forum!

For more information on KZG products please visit www.kzgolf.com

 

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. jim

    Mar 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I have and old KZG 5 wood that I hit so nice that I can’t believe it. It has a wizard shaft (dark green) and I’ve been trying to find a 7-9-3 wood like it. It says Osborne Presission Golf on the shaft. power maraging-on the bottom of the head–can anyone tell me where I can find some more of these clubs–pejka62@yahoo.com

  2. Burton R. Smith

    Sep 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Once upon a time I had a photo of a RH KZG forged 5 iron, and a LH KZG forged 5 iron. There was no comparison. The RH iron looked great, but the LH one….not so much. Different numbers of scoring lines, and face profiles made a disappointing impression.
    No LH ZOs either.
    I do not know what KZG model irons Phil Mickelson used, but am pretty sure it wasn’t the LH model I compared that day.

  3. SliceAddict

    Feb 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Like many of you, this strikes me as an “ad”, nothing more or less. This is not informational, but is designed to sell us on these clubs. Please label it as an “ad”.

  4. Ron

    Jan 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I bought my first set of KZG Forged yesterday with Custom shafts and fitting. Right from the first club hit I was in shock. The feel and playability were absolutely amazing. You have a lifer here.

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  6. Jeff

    Oct 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I too feel they have some of the best forgings. I played mp32 for a few yrs then mp60’s and then tried these KZG evo tours. I must say they are soft like butter with a feel hard to describe. I was a 2.8 index now I am at 1.5. I even have a set of the j36 Bridgestones and they do not have the feel these do. Try them and see for yourself. I have had guys say what are those K-Mart clubs. I laugh and take there money at the 19th hole.

  7. Mike Kamei

    Aug 13, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    If you haven’t hit forged irons, you haven’t played the best feeling clubs, and KZG has it! You owe it to yourself to try them, I have my whole bag KZG from Driver, three- wood, forged irons, wedges and putter. They are all great feeling clubs, my putter is probably my best feeling club in the bag and has made so much difference. I have a great club-fitter in Hawaii, Jim Cosper (Precision Golf of Hawaii) he has worked with me and fitted all my clubs. I refer all my friends to him because of his professionlism, workmanship and friendliness. I was referred to Jim by a good friend of mine, Head Professional at Barbers Point GC (HI) Don Wilburn (Senior Long Drive Champion/ Hawaii regional) who happens to play with KZG’s himself. I now understand what forged irons are and to be fitted by a professional club-fitter, I am a happy camper! Thank You

  8. Randy Loyd

    Mar 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    KZG believer. I was going to get a new set of irons. I had used the Titleist DII irons for years and thought it was time to get new ones. I was chking out the Nike and Titleist when a club fitter asked me if I’d ever heard of KZG’s. I said “A What?” He went on to tell me that the Manufacturer made clubs for the amateurs like the Pro Lines made for the big boys. I asked if he had a set to hit and of course he did not. Only made for the individual. I like to stay with a popular brand name, because If Tiger or Phil hits them then I have to. Well, I went home that afternoon and played and I realized that I never looked to see what “brandname” I was selecting but I was selecting an iron to hit the shot needed. Just the number of the iron was important. So, I went back and asked “will these clubs really help me?” Answer he said, YES. He even guaranteed me my money back if I didn’t improve right away. Long story short…I was a 11.7 handicap. I bought the KZGs and I started shooting in the 70s immediately. I kid you not! I was so excited and my buddies started complaining. I shot in the 70s more times in one season than my whole career. That was 2 1/2 seasons ago. I go to the course expecting to shoot in the 70s everytime now. I am 57 yrs old and now a 5.2 handicap. The best I’ve ever been. I hope to be a 3 at the end of this yr. (my goal) It made such a difference I could not believe it. Don’t get caught up in a brand name. I did that for yrs and never improved that much. I talked my brother in law into a set and he is now shooting btr scores. Try it and I’ll bet you are shooting better scores immediately. They’ll fit you and nobody else. Someone else tries to hit them and they will get no results. This is not a commercial…I’m living it and loving it..

  9. Bud Streeter

    Feb 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Your interview with Dr. King was very enlightening. I had the good fortunate several months ago to hit a fellow golfer’s KZG driver (I assured him that I wouldn’t buy one and play against him for money)! Just got a KZG GF driver with the two weight ports….the difference between my OEM driver and this baby is a challenge to put into words. Yesterday, I crumbled and bought the KZG 3+ fairway wood. These products have taken my game to a much higher level. Don’t be fooled by Golf Digest and some of the other “in it for the money” rags……KZG is the best. If anyone, including KZG, is looking for an outstanding putter try the Reeso putter! Since I put it in my bag three years ago I have never had more than 31 putts in a round.

  10. Ted C

    Nov 30, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I have been playing KZG’s for about two years. I started with the irons and now have a full bag. I currently carry a high 3 handicap. My teacher made various models and let me pick based on feel. He built everyone one of the clubs in my bag. I have a Gemini II driver/three wood and KZG blades. The blades have Rifle shafts. I used to swear by Vokey wedges, but I switched to the KZG’s. They aren’t nearly as heavy and that has helped my short game.

    I don’t know what the heck makes a good club. I have played Square Two, Titleist and Mizuno irons; Callaway, Ping and Titleist woods/drivers. The KZG’s play as well as any club I have ever held. Can anyone tell me how to determine the quality of a club and how it effect’s ones’ game.

    I am frustrated it is not easier to find a trained club fitter. I do know this, a qualified fitter is going to give you a much better product than one that comes out of a factory.

    My teacher has moved on. I have no idea what I am gonna do when I need new clubs. My PW is really starting to show it’s age. I really wish I had someone to guide me.

  11. James

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I tested about 10 different wedges over this weekend – and it was the kzg that felt the best. I’d never heard of them before I went in and the pro wasnt trying to push any of them – they were the softest along with miura and scratch but had slighty less spin and felt a little heavier and ok they were a much “fairer” price (ie. the Mrs wouldnt kill me!
    If you can find somewhere to try and hit them then you’ll be converted – trust me!

  12. Rob McKay

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:25 am

    I will NEVER buy off the shelf clubs again – I had a set of G2 Pings – couldn’t believe how out of wack they were when my club fitter measured them. Not to mention my wood with regular shalf which was in fact extra stiff!
    I had a total refit – spent 3 weeks with demo 6 iron and wood and then went back into the lab for another fitting session – I now have a full set of HB KZG irons and GF 460 wood – shot 78 last week off an 11 handicap (in winter). Why would you get an “off the rack” set of clubs when for around the same price you can get clubs custom made for your game!
    I recommend KZG to everybody.

  13. Bob Pegram

    May 31, 2008 at 2:15 am

    I use the precursor irons to the zero offsets. They are identical other than the name stampings. In 1994 Roger Dunn, a big golf retailer in California had them made for his staff. I was fortunate to be able to buy a set a year later. The next year they quit making them and sold the Bullet name which ended up being owned by Northwestern Golf. They were never made again – until KZG started using the head. They are the best irons I have ever hit. I can shape my shots and the comments about the tight shot dispersion are true. All of the Northwestern clubs are beautiful and show great workmanship which explains the results people get with them.

    I had heard through the grapevine about Phil Mickelson using their clubs. It doesn’t surprise me.

  14. greg beaugez

    Mar 30, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I have played the KZG forged cavity backs for about 3 yrs now. I was intrtoduced to them by a local club fitter here in Ft Myers. I’ve have played or at least hit every OEM forging that I can get my hands on attempting to find one of the big boy forgings that compares. Mizuno is the only thing I have found that is even close. If you have not tried these irons, then any criticism of the above article is ridiculous. They are simply as good if not better than anything else out there for less money. Anyone that evaluates these with an open mind without regard for the name on the bottom of the clubhead will easily draw the same conclusion. These things are really good!

  15. Ray

    Feb 7, 2008 at 7:18 am

    I am now playing with a gemini driver and 3 and 5 woods along with a 3 and 4 hybred and 5 thru pitching wedge – all from KZG. I play to a 7 handicap and play 3 to 4 times a week. By far the best clubs i have ever owned. All fitted by Kirby Bolen in Cincinnatti. I am now about to buy the RSS wedges. Cannot tell you how these clubs have changed my game. I now have so much confidence when i draw the club back that it will go where i want and how i want it to get there. The irons are incredible. I recommend them to all my friends and one fellow that just bought a Gemini driver has increased his distance almost 30 yards and his control is so much better now. If you can’t play better with these clubs you need to give up golf and take up fishing.
    If you are anywhere close to Cincinnatti call Kirby – you won’t be disappointed. To my knowledge he only uses KZG products or at least they are the only clubs he recommends.
    The one thing i would like to know is when you are coming out with putters?

  16. Ken

    Jan 15, 2008 at 8:46 am

    I think the Gemini 460 I have is the best driver I´ve ever had. I´ve also looked at KZG irons but I´m really hesitating to buy/pay as much for a set with – I must say – such poor looks/finish on the clubface (hitting area). Everything else is up to (or under) par but (I´m sedsish so I don´t know the word for the method used to treat the clubface. However I play Hogan´s now and they look a lot of $ better there. Hogan, Titleist, TM, Mizuno etc. forgings all have similar finish on the clubface. So, why don´t KZG, if they want to be as good, better or the best??

  17. Chris

    Oct 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    To Ty C, Moveable weights were not Taylor Made’s idea, the R7 came 3 years after. Everyone offers a moveable weight driver. So who stole who’s idea…we’ll never know for sure

    Lets not kid ourselves, Money drives the equipment choice of pros on all the tours. Phil switched to Callaway ’cause of a huge gambling debt that he needed to pay off and they picked up the tab. Big John will play with anybody’s clubs if they pay him. Even Tiger switched to Nike over $

    Golfsmith used to pay Scott Verplank to play but shortly after he won the Canadian open (with golfsmith forged irons), he wanted too much money, got a better offer, so they dropped him. Bruce Leitzke used Golfsmith products until he too got a better offer.

    In an attempt to get customers over the shock of the ugliest club ever to hit the market, The callaway Ft was awarded the “best looking” driver for 2007!! That square piece of junk looks like the fender off of one of Tiger’s Buicks. Someone had to pay off the judge on that decision.

    Most amateur golfers are suckers for advertising in the quest for a better game and the OEM’s abuse this fact, but if we knew more about the equipment the pros actually use we’d be quite surprised. Sure Tiger hits a Nike SQ, but it’s been shafted with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue shaft and they dont pay him a dime. That’s one of a zillion examples. Dont be fooled by the logo on anyone’s hat.

    Most pro’s on all tours will sneak clubs of any brand into their bag and KZG’s are in plenty of golf pro bags in one form or another.
    At the time of his death, Payne was playing with clubs built for him by Tom Wishon (TWG Golf, former head designer of Golfsmith).

    Those of you out there who’ve never been fitted for clubs don’t know what you are missing, and KZG’s are the best forgings in the world as awarded by Golf test USA, the ING Indusrty awards, and Rankmark reviews, all independent reviewers.

    I am a professional Class “A” clubmaker and can tell you that some of the worst clubs to come across my bench are bearing the big OEM names. Thousand dollar iron sets that have inconsistant lofts, lies and swingweights are a dime a dozen.

    Good on ya Jennifer, save your money and let the clubs do the work!

    • Mel

      Feb 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Hi, this is probably a really old posting but I feel a need to put in my two cents. My friends and I have played every single club out there, from Titleist AP2, 695cb, 755 Mizuno MP32,30,60,67, Honma Beres, Yamaha Inpres etc etc and the KZGs (with the exception of the PFT or what ever that was) are deemed to be incredible irons. I’ve owned 3 sets and just sold my AP2 710 to play my Forged Blades. Super soft and some what forgiving for a blade. Also I would like to point out that golf ideas come and go. Taylormade didn’t invent the moveable weight thing, other companies did that before TM came into being. I bought some 70-90s golf mags from my Value Village and they had wood heads with moveable weights, offset and open closed faces and also adjustable swingweights (using coins) Pinseeker had the springface concept and Wilson had the slot behind the face of their irons way back in the day when THEY were the big guy (have a set of 1978 Tour Grinds and a set of 89 Goosenecks). Any way, golf is marketing and I’ll admit that some of the stuff is great for performance (460cc heads, graphite shafts, hot faces, improved sole grinds YES! Fancy colours, nice but pure marketing) Nikes new Convent? Other than the adjustable head, the rest of the concept looks like the Integra Flying V. Thanks, hope somebody reads this.

  18. Topspin

    Sep 12, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    I thought GolfWrx was strictly OEM. If you are now supporting “component companies” lets hear from some of the other great companies out there – Infiniti, Wishon, Alpha, Bang…..If only ONE of these articles is posted – it does look suspiciously like a phony “blog”

  19. M. Page

    Sep 12, 2007 at 1:34 am

    I wish this interview would have focused more on the forged irons instead of woods. If you haven’t hit KZG forgings, I put KZG up there with Miura in terms of feel (feel is different than miura, but wouldn’t say better or worse), followed closely by Mizuno, and then a big gap to the other forged clubs put out by OEMs. Can’t say anything about their woods, so I can understand some of the criticism of the article, but I do think KZG should be proud of their irons.

  20. Ty C.

    Sep 11, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Wow, I like how KZG says that some of these cheap companies steal ideas, but the new KZG Driver has four removable weights…sound like the R7?…..

  21. M.Smith

    Sep 11, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Sounds Like a KZG has found a place to advertise here!!!!!! I agree with the marketing $ being a big part of OEM’s but if there product was that awesome all the tour players would be on it. After all at the Tour level $ is not everything, winning is more important to most of the players.

  22. P Matle

    Sep 6, 2007 at 2:19 am

    This is nothing more than a fluff piece. “We found that our product is the best…and the 2nd best is Titleist.” OHHHHHH! PLEEEEEEEASE!

  23. K Vakamudi

    Sep 5, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    How does this article differ from any of the other OEM interviews GolfWRX has done? Talk with ANY OEM representative and they’re going to present things to place their company in the best light possible – you are free to take the information in whatever light you will.

    However, The stance KZG has taken is no different from others who don’t have the limitless budgets of the large OEM’s. Just because their business model and advertising strategy may not appear valid to you, doesn’t mean it can’t be successful.

  24. J. D. Edwards

    Sep 5, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I read through this “article” twice. Call me cynical, but it sounds a heck of a lot less like an “interview” and more like a carefully crafted “advertisement.”

    Players want results. If KZG was as highly regarded as the article would like for us to believe, we would see more players using the clubs, professionally fitted or not. Ms. King’s rationale for not advertising makes little sense in any of the permutations described. Up and coming players on any of the lesser tours would leap at an equipment contract, even if it meant getting clubs only. Why not an infomercial on the Golf Channel?

    For every golfer that studies Golf Digest, Golf Week, Golf, Golf for Women or any of the other specialty equipment magazines; for every one who grills his or her club pro; for every one who is looking for that extra edge or the next big thing, surely someone — especially in the equipment- (some would say “gimmick-“) happy world that is golf — would have something good to say about these clubs even if the major mags didn’t try to sell KZG ad space. And certainly not as quid pro quo for trashing Orlimar and Knight Golf.

    There is a kind of “sour grapes” attitude pervasive in this story that just doesn’t read right. If I was considering a lesser known brand like KZG for a new set of clubs, this piece would send me right back into the arms of the “big boys.”

  25. Rich Hetzel

    Sep 2, 2007 at 6:48 am

    Dear Ken,

    My intention for this interview was aimed more at why KZG does NOT advertise….Try golftestusa.com for info on the Gemini or the driver review section on golfwrx.com. For the ZO blades you can visit the KZG website or even look in the club review section on golfwrx.com

  26. Ken Bullivant

    Sep 1, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Please supply information on KZG Gemini Driver and ZO Irons please

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2017 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members… the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. And whether that special person you’re buying for is into apparel, equipment, technology or cool accessories, our Holiday Gift Guide has you covered. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

When you’re done reading, be sure to pass the link along to drop a not-so-subtle hint of what you really want this holiday season.

Uther Tour Towel: $24.99

The first golf towel the golfer on your list will actually be excited about receiving. Uther has a wealth of cool designs, but we’re partial to the large 20 x 40-inch Flamingo Lake Tour Towel.

Buy it.

Sunfish The Declaration headcover (fairway wood): $59.99

We like the idea of making a statement with one of your wood or hybrid headcovers. There are fewer cooler statement designs than one of the greatest statements in world history: the Declaration of Independence.

Buy it. 

True Linkswear Originals: $149

If you haven’t heard, True linkswear has returned to its spikeless roots with a vengeance this year. Whether the golfer on your list prefers a more traditional style or something more sporty, the Originals will satisfy.

Buy it.

A dozen custom Titleist Pro V1s: $56.99

Titleist’s My ProV1 custom creation portal keeps getting cooler. We’re partial to the new holiday graphic options. Custom number + more than 200 logo/icon options + personalization of three lines per side = the best custom ball holiday gift.

Buy it.

Imperial Headwear Ugly Visor: $40

 

You’ve heard of the ugly Christmas sweater. Take that concept and apply it to a tour visor from Imperial Headwear. Enough said. Plus, Imperial is running a “Black Friday Buy More, Save More Sale” through Sunday.

Buy it.

Bushnell Pro X2: $499

A top-of-the-line rangefinder with bells and whistles aplenty for the demanding golfer on your list.

Buy it.

TecTecTec VPRO500: $149.99

If you don’t want to pony up 500 bucks, here’s an excellent rangefinder at a reasonable price. Measures up to 540 yards and is accurate within one yard. And 20 percent off through November 27!

Buy it.

Sugarloaf Social Club Pimento Pack: $125

The folks at Sugarloaf Social Club have done it again. Their latest offering: The Pimento Pack, featuring SSC’s signature pimento loafwich. Pack includes: Made in the USA dancing pimento putter cover. Olive five-panel cap w/ pimento logo embroidered on front panel. Made in the USA club towel.

Buy it.

The First Major by John Feinstein: $16.99

Feinstein’s latest. Like the dust jacket says: “a dramatic chronicle of the bitterly-fought 2016 Ryder Cup pitting a U.S. team out for revenge against the Europeans determined to keep the Cup out of American hands.” If you’re buying a book, make it this one.

Buy it.

Holderness & Bourne Robbins Long Sleeve Heathered Claret: $125

Holiday red? Sunday red? H&B’s Robbins Long Sleeve Heathered Claret layer feels like a sweatshirt but looks like a sweater. Wearable on course and off. The golfer on your list will appreciate the versatility of this garment in contrast to getting the proverbial “another sweater.”

Buy it.

Linksoul Professor Art Print: $65

A touch classic. A touch modern. A great golf print that’ll satisfy a range of tastes.

Buy it.

Golftec Silver Holiday Package: $295

We end with the gift of better golf (in the form of a Golftec gift package). Boasting a 95 percent success rate, GolfTec students improve their games. The company is offering a range of holiday options, but we like the Silver Package, which includes an evaluation, lesson, practice session, and custom fitting.

Buy it.

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Tour Mash: Rahm wins in Dubai, Cook sizzles to victory

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Two more points races reached their end this weekend. The LPGA season culminated in Florida with the Race to the CME Globe, while the European Tour concluded its Race to Dubai in, where else? Dubai! The PGA Tour played its final event until the new year, in Georgia, while the Ladies European Tour played its Sanya Open in China. Before American Thanksgiving revelry and remembrance set in, it’s time for one more tour mash.

LPGA Tour: A day of twos ends in a win for Ariya

Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her final two holes to win the CME Tour Championship. She was given the opportunity to win in regulation when Lexi Thompson pushed a 2-foot putt for par at the last. Although Thompson did not win the year’s final event, she captured 2 titles of her own: Vare Trophy for low scoring average and Race To CME Globe, the season’s points race.

How Ariya Jutanugarn tasted victory

The power game has arrived on the LPGA Tour, in case you missed it. Golfers such as Lexi, Ariya and Sung Hyun Park obliterate the orb, leaving little yardage to the green. When her game is firing, Ariya Jutanugarn is unstoppable. After bogey at the first hole on Sunday, the young golfer from Thailand etched six birdies into the final 17 holes, for a second-consecutive 67. Her birdie at the last came from 23 feet, an amazing putt to hole with victory on the line. Down it went, and up went the smile of a champion.

How the rest came up just shy of a win

With eerie similarity, Lexi Thompson’s card was the flip side of Ariya’s. Thompson made six birdies over her first 17 holes, but the hiccough at the last, her only bogey on the day, dropped her to 14-under par and opened the door for Jutanugarn. Thompson was on absolute fire on Sunday, hitting all 14 fairways and using the putter 28 times. Ariya, Kim Kaufman, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen stood tied atop at 10-under, heading into round 4. Pettersen’s 72, Kaufman’s 71 and Wie’s 70 were simply not enough to keep pace with those coming from behind on Sunday. Ariya, however, was up to the challenge.

European Tour: Rahm wins in Dubai and Fleetwood breathes again

For a time, it seemed as though Justin Rose would win his third consecutive event in Europe and would squeeze past Fleetwood for the season points title. The former Englishman was in the midst of the greatest scoring run of his career, while the later Englishman seemed to have little petrol left in the tank. Then the back nine on Sunday happened, and everything changed.

How Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour

Shane Lowry made 10 birdies on Sunday, but he had one bogey. Rahm had half as many birdies and zero bogeys, and that last number made the difference. The young Basque played a stellar 132 over the closing 36 holes, eclipsed only by Lowry’s 131. Rahm fearlessly navigated his way around the Jumeirah Estates course, eeking out a one-shot win over Lowry and also hard-charging Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

How the others went home trophy-less

We all want to know about Rose. four birdies on the outward 9-holes staked him to a lead, and the greatest season comeback on a major tour was nearly written. With only three bogeys in his first 63 holes, Rose proceeded to bogey 12, 14 and 16, with only a birdie at the last to bring him to 17-under. He ended up two behind Rahm, and in second place in the Race to Dubai points race. It was a glorious campaign for Rose, and cements him as world player to watch in 2018. The Englishman tied for fourth with Sergio Garcia, Dean Burmeister and Dylan Fritelli, both of South Africa, on 17-under par.

PGA Tour: Cook collects First Tour win in Georgia

Fall is a time for young aspirants to make a mark on the PGA Tour. Austin Cook followed the script, birdieing 3-of-his-final-4 holes to stretch a single-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph. J.J. Spaun, a Web.Com tour graduate in 2017, was in the mix for the second consecutive week. He played well down the stretch, and earned a runner-up finish.

How Cook caught fire

Austin Cook played a veteran front-nine, with one bogey and one birdie. None of the chasers caught him, so the Arkansas alum continued to manage his game in the fairways-greens style. On the inward half, Cook took charge, with birdies at 15, 17 and 18, to move well in front of the runner-up. With the precision of a surgeon, Cook took apart the Sea Island course in impressive fashion. After his second-round 62, many expected him to have one weak round on the weekend, but 66-67 showed the his mettle.

How the others flamed out

Spaun really didn’t flame out, not like last week, when he caught the double-bogey train. A proven winner on other tours, Spaun should win in 2018. His game was solid, mixing in more birdies than bogeys, and his second-place finish was well-earned. Brian Gay might have been more comfortable than any other golfer this week, but he was just as erratic. Case in point: back nine. From holes 13 to 18, Gay made one birdie, two eagles, two pars and one double. Still, his numbers were low enough to secure solo third, one stroke behind Spaun and two in front of the fourth-place finishers.

Ladies European Tour: Boutier sizzles on back nine for win

Celine Boutier imagined a top-10 or top-5 when the third day dawned at Yalong Bay, in China. After bogeys on holes 4 and 5, she needed to gather herself in order to preserve her standing. From this day forward, “gather herself” in the dictionary will forever show a picture of Celine Boutier. Her six-birdie finish vaulted her past all challengers, to her first European Tour victory.

How Boutier bloomed

The recent Duke University graduate posted three rounds in the 60s, the only competitor to achieve that distinction at the Sanya Open. The Frenchwoman didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole of her second round, but she was stuck in neutral from that hole through the 9th hole on Sunday, making only pars and bogeys. Something clicked at the turn, and Boutier regained the confidence that had produced 10 birdies during the tournament’s first half.

How the others gave chase

Solar Lee was in good standing on Sunday’s outward nine. She bounced back from an opening bogey with three birdies through the 9th, and held the top spot on the leader board at 7-under. Lee reached 9-under through 13, but made bogey at 14 to drop to 8-under. Then came the blossoming of Boutier, and Lee had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot. One spot behind Lee was Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland’s reigning professional golfer, at 7-under.

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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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